Magdalene Catholic High School

Newsletter Vol 20 Term: 1 Week 9 - 29 March 2018

Principal's Blog

With Easter upon us, we are reminded of the great love and sacrifice God made in offering His Only Son for the redemption of His people. As parents, families and community members we know only too well of the importance love plays in helping each of us reach our fullest potential.

Recently, I had a moment to read a chapter from Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life. He suggested that loving ourselves and helping ourselves was necessary if we as a world were going to bring about ‘virtuous, responsible, awake being, capable of reciprocity’ young people. Peterson here was alluding to the notion that each of us may not take care of ourselves, as we might for a sick pet or an ill friend. Then he posed a rhetorical question: ‘What might life look like if I were caring for myself properly?’ Again confronting, as the underlying premise behind this question is that we as individuals may not look after ourselves like Jesus’ death had intended for His people.

At our recent Staff Development Day, Dan Haesler, an inspiring speaker and advocate for Positive Psychology, spoke to our staff about exactly this – taking the time to look after ourselves. He also spoke about Martin Seligman’s PERMA model (P – Positive Emotion; E – Engagement; R – Relationships; M – Meaning; A – Accomplishments) and how we might apply this to our lives. For mine, the recent move to greater ‘wellbeing’ is not a fad and is something which we should embrace to be the best people that we can be and, in doing so, enable others to do the same.

Therefore, maybe over Easter, we might each get a chance to think about how we look after ourselves, how we might find some time to reflect on how we are going and how we might look to Heaven rather than the material things of this world.

WORKING BEE – Sunday 25th March

What a great success this day was. Over 70 staff, parents and students attended and achieved a great deal. As you will read in the P & F Report below, a large range of jobs were completed and there was a wonderful community feel with everyone working with common purpose.

I would very much like to thank Mr Joe Trimarchi for all of his organisation on the day, staff, students and parents/carers for their hard work and attendance and our wonderful P & F who put on lunch and assisted throughout the morning.

Given the success, I would like to see future Working Bees at the School.


As you will see in the flyer later in the newsletter, I would like to commend our Year 11 Drama students and Ms Lisa Stevens for putting on their upcoming Drama Production: Stories in the Dark by Debra Oswald.

I look forward to attending on one of the evenings (only two performances next week) and I encourage attendance to support our students and to witness a contemporary play with important messages.


We were very excited to be nominated earlier in the year by Aquafit and the Catholic Club to be the potential recipients for a range of Technogym equipment if the Gym is successful in the international program: 'Let's Move for a Better World'.

This program encourages people all over the world to become more active in order to make a difference in their local community and to raise awareness about the importance of being active, especially from a very young age.

The number of steps recorded on the machines at Aquafit are tallied against other clubs and if the club has the highest number (currently coming 1st at time of print) then the School will be the beneficiaries. In the past week Magdalene classes have gone to Aquafit on four different occasions (see photos below).

On behalf of the School I would like to thank Aquafit (and the Catholic Club) for allowing us to be involved in this initiative.

Prayer for Easter:

May this Eastertide prayer be a useful reflection during your well-deserved Easter break:


God give you the JOY

this Easter Day, that bides with

you along Life’s way, and fill your

heart with blithesome cheer as you

pass from year to year.

God give you PEACE,

this Easter Day, the peace that

cannot pass away, ‘twill turn

life’s grey to ruddiest gold and

bring you blessings manifold.

God give you LOVE this Easter Day,

and all the twelvemonth may it stay to

guide, to comfort you, and bless,

and fill your life with happiness.

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Mr Matthew McMahon


P and F News

What a wonderful day it was on Sunday 25th March that saw over 70 parents/carers, students, children, and staff taking part in our first working bee in recent memory. We planted over 200 trees, built a new outdoor classroom, dispatched several tonnes of junk, carted hundreds of barrows of mulch, weeded the garden beds, cleaned the chapel, and smashed up concrete with big hammers. Filled with the sense of euphoria that comes with exceeding all expectations, we were driven to stake out the course for the cross country carnival on Monday. The day was completed with a well-earned lunch with new friends and we departed satisfied with a job well done.

Thank you to the following people who gave up their Sunday morning:

Jodie Andruschko, Matt Andruschko, Oscar Andruschko, Emmie Andruschko, Danny Avalos, Veronica Battley, Paul Boaro, Nicholas Boaro, Kerrianne Cassidy, Rhys Cassidy

Elizabeth Chadwick, Brayden Chadwick, Nicholas Chadwick, Lachlan Chadwick, Isabelle Chadwick, Ella Coates, Tara Coates, Donna Corbett, Peter Cornett, Charlotte Cornett, Michelle Cornett, David Cornett, Luke Doepel, Cathy Downes, Kristian Downes, Monique Downes, Jeff Fulton, Molly Fulton, Nicole Hamilton, Craig Hamilton, Paul Harrington, Leanne Harrington, Kane Harrington, Adam Lee, Clare Licina, Nicholas Licina, Amy Lollback, Holly Lollback, Dan Lollback, Bec Lollback, Peter Maroussis, Samuel McMahon,Henry McMahon, Matthew McMahon, Maria Meagher, Tee-Jay Melville, Skye Melville,Kelly O'Keeffe, Mitchell Palmer, Dylan Palmer, Bronte Perigo, Clare Rooney, Luke Sawyer-Hamilton, Walter Shinnigens, Sally Small, Michael Small, Tara Small, Luke Small, Luke Snelling, Siobhan Suters, Sofija Todorovska, Marjan Todorovski, Bill Tregear, Melina Trimarchi, Joe Trimarchi, Adrian Varela, Adrian Varela, Max Versteeg, Indiana Weastell,Trudy Weastell, Chris Whicker, Angela Young, Christina Young.

A special thanks to Joe Trimarchi for organising the plants and tools, and for managing the project to keep us on track.

It was a case of many hands make light work and a reminder that being part of the P&F is not about attending meetings, but rather an opportunity for family and friends to come together as a community to support the school.

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Karate - NSW State Title

Congratulations to Izaak Taylor (7W) who took out the Bonze in the 12-14-year-old Boys competition and now advances to the National Competition in August.

Magdalene Catholic High School 20 Year Gala Dinner

The excitement is building as our Gala Dinner approaches on the 18th May 2018 at The Cube, Campbelltown Catholic Club.

We have confirmed some fabulous musical talent for the night to accompany our 3-course fine dining menu, accompanied by a quality selection of wines.

The night will include many fantastic giveaways, including a luxurious Two Night Farmstay in the beautiful Southern Highlands, for up to four people.

Come and join us to celebrate and recall wonderful memories from your time at Magdalene Catholic High School, and find out where we are headed for the future as we enter our 20th Year. We invite our entire community, past and present to join us for an elegant evening of dining and entertainment, providing the perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones.

We look forward to your company on the 18th May. Please direct all enquiries to Michelle Cornett at

To book your tickets

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NSW Premier's Reading Challenge

Reading is the most important factor in determining the future success of a child. With this in mind, it is exciting to know that the 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge has commenced! The PRC affords students the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of texts and extends reading capacity.

The competition will conclude on 31 August, so there is still plenty of time for students in Years 7, 8 and 9 to start reading. In 2017, almost 291,000 students across the state successfully completed the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge. How many Magdalene students will be involved this year? With almost 8,000 titles to choose from, students have no excuse not to be reading.

How can The Premier’s Reading Challenge support parent involvement in student reading?

The PRC provides a fantastic opportunity for parents to be involved in their children’s reading and literacy development.

  • Selecting books from the PRC list with your child allows you to be involved in their reading choices and supports discussion of what is being read.

  • Parental involvement in teenage reading helps instil a love of reading for pleasure and places a high value on reading as a means of education.

To be involved, students are required to register and keep an online record of books read. Further details can be found at:

Students will receive further information prior to the end of term.

Stephanie Phillips

Acting English Coordinator

Literacy Teacher


All students are currently either sitting or about to sit a Maths exam. Please check with your child that they have their calculator with them in order for them to have success on their exam day.

A lot of parents often ask what is the best way to prepare for a Maths exam? Some suggestions are listed below:

How to Study for Maths Exams

  • Start on Day One. You should always be studying for the next exam. Do a little each day, or at the very least start studying 2-3 days before the exam. Do NOT start studying the night before the exam. Cramming just doesn’t work as well as spending time each day studying, especially with a math class.

  • Get a Good Night's Sleep. Get a good night's sleep the night before the exam. It is important to be well rested and mentally sharp when you take the exam.

  • Make a List of Important Concepts/Formulas. Review your notes and make a concise list of important concepts and formulas. Make sure you know these formulas and more importantly how to use them!

  • Rework Homework Problems. Do not just read over the homework problems. Actually, rework them. Writing down the steps will help you to remember them. Make sure that you try to do the problems without looking at the solutions.

  • Rework Book/Notes Examples. Cover up the solutions to book or note examples and try to rework them. When looking for problems from the book don’t forget that most books have a review section at the end of each chapter that usually contains more problems.

  • Look for Identifying Characteristics in Problems. While doing your homework you knew which section it came out of. This provided some clues as to the solution process. During an exam, you won’t have this to help you. So, while reviewing your homework look for identifying characteristics that will give you clues on how to identify what kind of problem.

  • Take a Practice Exam. Find some problems and treat them a practice test. Give yourself a time limit and don’t use your notes or book.


During the holidays the Mathematics department will be holding revision classes for our Year 12 students. These will include a class for students who would like to focus on consolidating basic skills, as well as classes for those who would like to be extended.

Monday 16 April: 10am-12pm- General Maths (One class focusing on consolidating basic skills, and the other class focusing on working to achieve higher band results.) Run by Mrs Pickles and Mr Koch.

Wednesday 18 April: 10am-12pm- Mathematics. Run by Mr Beh, Mrs Dobbie and with a special visiting guest from CEO, Mr G. Sozio.

Please place these dates in your diary, but please note, places are limited. Get in early to avoid disappointment.

Year 8 PDHPE Practical Lesson Review – Fitness

This term Year 8 PDHPE practical lessons have been focused on fitness testing as a part of the topic Fitness. Students are given an array of tests that are designed to target certain health and skill related components of fitness, where they push them self to their limits to measure their abilities.

8.3 (Mrs Durrant’s class) and 8.4 (Mrs Hort/Mrs Andruschko’s class) showed just how far they were able to push themselves and each other in Week 5. As student’s had completed their individual testing, Mrs Durrant and Mrs Hort decided to set a Beep Test team challenge, where students were grouped into teams of 6 and completed the beep test together.

This test involves continuous running between two lines 20m apart in time to recorded beeps. The speed at the start is quite slow however after about one minute, a sound indicates an increase in speed and the beeps will be closer together. There is a total of 21 levels with each level consisting approximately of 1-minute.

The results were outstanding, as students motivated each other and pushed themselves to their absolute limits. Mrs Durrant and Mrs Hort state “ We saw students reach levels they never thought they could ever achieve, with 2 teams out 10 completing level 21”. Students upon completion were cheering and were even asking if they could go run a lap of the oval due to the amount of adrenaline they had from the event. Mrs Durrant and Mrs Hort add, “Proud is an understatement, what we saw were students completely engaged and begging for us to complete this again, as a teacher that is all you can ever ask”.

Check out the students' reactions from the picture below. Congratulations Year 8, we look forward to many more practical lessons like this for 2018.

Mrs Ashleigh Durrant

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PDHPE Classes 8.3 and 8.4


“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” Stephen Hawking

Students have had a busy fortnight, Year 7 to Year 11 have been having lots of fun undertaking experiments.

Year 7 have been studying water and undertook an experiment to show how the water cycle works.

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Year 7 Students modelling the water cycle

During this time Year 10 Science students carried out their assessment experiments on a motion. The students looked at the relationship between speed & acceleration according to Newton’s Laws of Motion.

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Year 10 Students recording data in their assessment about motion

For Year 11 Chemistry, the students studied the atomic model of atoms defined by Niels Bohr and Erwin Schrodinger. The students studied how electrons can be moved by heating atoms. This is seen as different colours (or wavelengths) of light emitted.

Mr Doepel

Assistant Science Coordinator

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A Year 11 Chemistry student investigating the movement of electrons between atomic orbitals for their Depth study.

Year 11 Drama Performance

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Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer Information

This is just a friendly reminder to our Parents and Carers that our School has the services of an Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer.

Sharynne Freeman has worked with Catholic Education for five years and is only too happy for Parents and Carers to contact her with queries and requests for information in the Macarthur and Southern Highland areas.

Sharynne also sends out information to Careers Advisors in our Secondary Schools for career opportunities that students can access, as well as information relevant to Primary Schools.

Sharynne’s email address is or she can be contacted on 0409 359 041 or 02 4253 0822 between 8.00am and 3.30pm.

Sport News

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Cross Country

On Monday 26th March, the School Cross Country was held on the school grounds. While the Cross-Country event was running, students were also able to participate in recreational activities and mixed Homeroom competitions on the Front Oval. Students enjoyed a great day of activities along with the challenge of our Cross-Country Course.

Congratulations to our “Age Champions” who were recognised immediately after the last event.

Our “Age Champions” will also be recognised at our end of year Sports Assembly where they will receive their official Cross Country Medallions.

The “Winning House” will be revealed at our next full-school assembly and put into a later newsletter.

Our Age Champions and runners-up are as follows:

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Age Champions: L-R: Luke Jansz (12M), Katelyn Chelin (7D), Jessica Kourembes (9B), Charli Lawrence (7W), Adam Farkas (10S), Koby King (7S), Aleesha Austin (11S), Michael Newton (8M), Karley McVittie (11H), Christopher Fergie (7B), Luke Summers (12D), Amalia Plummer (9S), Stephanie Brancato (12H) and Blair Hopkins (9D)


On Thursday 16th February the annual Magdalene Swimming Carnival was held at Campbelltown Swimming Centre, Bradbury. It was a warm day, perfect for a swim. The participation on the day was pleasing with a large number of heats in most events. Participation was not limited to the pool, with great house spirit on the pool deck. There were many impressive performances with some fast times and students who gave their all in event after event, never giving up.

Congratulations to Jacob Simpson and Jack Beeby for setting new records in a number of events.

The house points battle was hard fought. Congratulations to Dunne for winning the House-Swimming shield.

House Points

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Congratulations to our age champions and runners-up:
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Year 10 and 11 Meningococcal Vaccinations 23 May

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2018 School Fees

The 2018 School fee statements were sent home recently via email. As per the Wollongong Diocesan School Fee Management policy, school fees are generally due 30 days after invoicing, however, a variety of methods of payment and frequency are offered to provide families with the flexibility to meet their commitments. We refer you to the School’s website for full details

If families wish to enter into a payment plan, a Diocesan School Fee Agreement form is available on the school website and must be completed and returned to the school within 30 days of the School Fee statement being issued. We wish to extend our apologies for the delay in issuing your School Fee statement. Any queries regarding your account, please call the School’s Finance Team on 46313300 or email

Yours sincerely

Magdalene's Finance Team

Catholic Care

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Community News

Camden Council Youth Week Celebrations

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Coles Sport for Schools

Please help us collect as many dockets as possible. All dockets/goods received will be donated to St Patricks Brewarrina!
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School Calendar

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